Review: The Blues Broads – Recorded Live from the Throckmorton Theatre

Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012

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The Blues Broads – Recorded Live at the Throckmorton Theatre: November 4, 2011
(Delta Groove Music: DGPCD154)

The Blues Broads are Dorothy Morrison, Angela Strehli, Annie Sampson and Tracy Nelson: a quartet of highly experienced and widely acclaimed singers. Dorothy Morrison is a gospel singer, who rose to international renown as the lead singer on the Edwin Hawkins Singers’ hit “Oh, Happy Day”. Angela Strehli was for many years a popular fixture at Antone’s in Austin, Texas. Her collaborations with Lou Ann Barton and Marcia Ball were forerunners of her Blues Broads commitment. Annie Sampson is a rock and gospel singer, who was a lead performer in the original San Francisco production of Hair in the late 1960s. Tracy Nelson began her career in the mid 1960s when she recorded an acoustic blues album with the backing of Charlie Musselwhite.

This recording comprises both a CD and a DVD. The CD contains ten tracks, three of which are original numbers. The compilation shuffles into action with “Livin’ The Blues”, with Tracy Nelson and Annie Sampson on lead vocals. “Bring Me Your Love” is an Annie Sampson/Mike Duke composition and features Sampson and Dorothy Morrison in the forefront. Angela Strehli sings her own composition, the Texas shuffle “Two Bit Texas Town”, which includes a tasty guitar solo from Gary Vogensen. A fine version of “River Deep, Mountain High” is led by Dorothy Morrision before Angela Strehli takes over the mantle on her own “Blue Highway”, a slow shuffle that she wrote with bass guitarist Steve Ehrmann.

Some rippling piano work from honorary Broad, Deanna Bogart, provides a lovely introduction to the upbeat rocker, “It Won’t Be Long”. She also joins in very effectively on the vocals. Tracy Nelson delivers the goods on the slow blues, “Walk Away”, which also features another excellent guitar solo from Gary Vogensen. The medium-paced ballad, “Mighty Love”, puts Dorothy Morrison back in control while lead vocals are shared around on a superb a capella airing of “Jesus, I’ll Never Forget”. The final offering on the CD is a substantially extended version of “Oh, Happy Day”, with Dorothy Morrison demonstrating that she has lost none of her power as she leads the party in grand style.

The DVD comprises those ten tracks plus a bonus rendition of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over, Baby Blue”, with Annie Sampson on impassioned vocals and Deanna Bogart delivering a splendid solo on tenor sax. The project is a credit to the Blues Broads, who exude talent, experience, professionalism and, very significantly, enjoyment.

Lionel Ross

The Blues Broads website
Delta Groove Music website

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